Momentous things happen elsewhere, in the big cities of Nehru's India. In dull and dusty Pipalnagar, each day is like another, and -there is not exactly despair, but resignation'. Even the dreams here are small: if he ever makes it to Delhi, Deep Chand, the barber, will open a more up-to-date salon where he might, perhaps, give the Prime Minister a haircut; Pitamber will trade his cycle-rickshaw for the less demanding scooter-rickshaw; Aziz will be happy with a junk-shop in Chandni Chowk. None, of course, will make that journey to Delhi.
Adrift among them, the narrator, Arun, a struggling writer of detective novels in Urdu, waits for inspiration to write a blockbuster. One day he will pack his meagre belongings and take the express train out of Pipalnagar. Meanwhile, he seeks reassurance in love, and finds it in unusual places: with the young prostitute Kamla, wise beyond her years; and the orphan Suraj, homeless and an epileptic, yet surprisingly optimistic about the future.
Few authors write with greater sensitivity and skill about little India than Ruskin Bond. Delhi Is Not Far is a memorable story about small lives, with all the hallmarks of classic Ruskin Bond prose: nostalgia, charm, underplayed humour and quiet wisdom.
Let me first clear the air on why I was excited to read this one, this is RUSKIN BOND's book!! That itself is enough reason for me to finish it in one go.
The cover gives a hint how the story is gonna be, beautiful! Our narrator is Arun who writes Urdu novels & want to make it big someday but he is stuck in Pipalnagar, a small village not so far away from Delhi where he aspires to go. Pipalnagar is a dull village with not so many opportunities but still the way the author described it's tiny details would make you fall in love with it.
The other characters of the story are equally ambitious like our narrator, Deep Chand is a barber who dreams to open a bigger shop in the city, Pitamber who owns a rickshaw wants to replace it by a mechanical rickshaw which would save his energy & lastly Aziz whose ultimate aim is to own a junk-shop in Chandni Chowk but then then this story makes us realize that just dreaming isn't enough but working hard to achieve the dream is the main essence.
The most intriguing character is that of Kamla, a prostitute who speaks like a philosopher & proves to be a vital part of Arun's stay in Pipalnagar. The last character is that of Suraj who has nobody in this world but a friend Arun who is even closer, being homeless & epileptic increases his troubles but he does get help from our narrator.
This story is not that of some revolution or some blockbuster movie star or any such fancy things but of simple people & their lives. The simplicity with which the author wrote it is to die for. This story will surely leave it's print in you.